THE BIGGER PICTURE: WHY EATING WHOLEFOODS IS BETTER FOR YOUR BODY & THE PLANET

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A wholefoods way of living supports us in so many ways, and in a time where we are witnessing much environmental and resource depletion it is certainly showing us there is a need to take more care with our food choices and our environment. By choosing wholefoods over processed foods we can all individually contribute to minimising the damage to our planet as well as strengthen our connection to our food and to our bodies.

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TEFF PANCAKES WITH COCONUT YOGHURT & RASPBERRIES

teff-pancakesOne of our store managers suffers from coeliacs disease and is always looking for inspiration in trying new recipes that fit into her gluten free lifestyle. When we recently started to stock Teff flour and grain she was very excited to try these two products out and made these very delicious Teff pancakes adding coyo (coconut yoghurt), raspberries and honey. A woman of many talents, she even captured the image herself. She said they were so good, we couldn’t not share them. Continue reading

SAVOURY CHICKPEA PANCAKES (GLUTEN FREE)

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We love experimenting with all the different varieties of gluten free flours in store and how to use them. Chickpea (or besan) flour is one of our favourites and we find a lot of our customers asking how to use it.

Traditionally it is used in Indian cooking to make pakora, chapati or naan breads, or as a thickener in curries or dahl. However we love using it to make savoury pancakes adding in loads of yummy vegetables to make it a complete tasty meal.

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GLUTEN FREE SWAPS WITH NATUROPATH CASEY-LEE LYONS

 

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Living a gluten free lifestyle often means having to find substitutes for many ingredients/food products. At first this can seem like a big task but it can actually be quite simple and fun. Being ‘gluten free’ doesn’t mean you have to miss out. With a few healthy swaps you can enjoy a nourishing and delicious diet that provides a great balance of nutrition whilst avoiding gluten.

I believe the best way to avoid gluten and to nourish your body is to stick to whole and fresh food sources as much as possible.

Here is a simple list of gluten free swaps that I hope supports and inspires you to make healthy meals and snacks to nourish yourself and your family.

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MOROCCAN CAPSICUM DIP

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This is one of our favourite homemade dip recipes and in perfect timing as we prepare for springtime and the season of getting together with friends and family.

So easy to make and absolutely delicious, this Moroccan style dip is great to accompany a roast lamb, some spicy fish, a hearty bean salad or on its own with a tasty cracker.

Serving Size: One size for all – first in.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium red capsicums
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup roasted cashews
  • ½ cup semi dried tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 tablespoon mild Moroccan spice mix
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Chopped free parsley to garnish

Method:

  1. Roast the capsicums in a hot oven (200’C) for 15 minutes, or until tender and starting to brown up. Allow to cool and place in your food processor (remove the skin if you prefer).
  2. Add the parmesan, cashews, semi-dried tomatoes and Moroccan spice blend and process for 10 seconds.
  3. Add the olive oil and process until just combined (still a little chunky), then season with salt and pepper where needed.

Inspiration:

For a dairy free option, replace the parmesan with ½ cup of fresh parsley.

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WHOLEFOODS AND GROWING YOUR OWN HERBS

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Growing your own herbs at home is a great way to save money and beautifully complement your wholefoods diet.  Herbs are easy to grow, as they are generally very hardy and when used fresh will significantly increase the nutrient value of your food.  There are many herbs to choose from but some of my personal favourites include mint, oregano, sage, parsley, dill, lemon balm, marjoram and thyme.

  • Mint grows extremely well and will spread like wild fire wherever it can so is best kept contained. There are many edible varieties and two common ones are  Peppermint and Vietnamese mint; both full of flavour with a bite, great in soups and other cooked dishes as they hold up to the heat.  Softer flavoured mints go well in warm salads such cous cous with roasted onions and pecans or thrown into a smoothie.  The menthol in mint is the reason for the unique taste as well as the medicinal effects. Mint can soothe the stomach, reduce bloating and gas as well as calm the digestive tract.
  • Thyme grows all year round and is much stronger when used fresh, however it does hold its flavour when dried better than most other herbs. This highly aromatic herb has long been revered medicinally for its potent antiseptic and anti-fungal qualities, which makes it valuable in mouthwashes, wound dressings and to fight fungal infections. Thyme is also packed with immune boosting nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium.
  • Sage has a long history of culinary as well as medicinal use. With a strong aromatic flavour, sage adds a punch to sauces and marinades.  Use fresh for optimal flavour, this powerful herb will withstand cooking for a long period of time. Drinking the steeped leaves as a tea will help to soothe a sore throat, aid digestion and reduce muscle tension due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anti-bacterial properties. To top it off, sage is also high in calcium and iron.
  • Dill is a beautiful plant with vibrant green feathery leaves and bright yellow flowers that will attract beneficial insects to the garden.  Containing iron and calcium, this herb is a fantastic addition to fish, simply sprinkle on or stir through mayonnaise with crushed garlic.
  • Parsley is a household favourite due to its subtle, yet pleasantly fragrant flavour and its wonderful self-seeding nature, returning to your garden year after year with minimal effort.  Parsley is also highly medicinal, containing a range of cell-protecting anti-oxidants as well as magnesium, potassium and iron.
  • Lemon balm has a deliciously delicate lemon taste and is used to add a soft tang to sweet or savoury dishes. It can be added to salsas, sauces, casseroles or any dish that needs a subtle lemon flavour.  This herb is best added at the end of cooking in order to benefit most from its gentle aroma.  Lemon balm is great as a tea as it is known for its uplifting qualities and according to an old Arabian proverb, ”Balm makes the heart merry and joyful.”

Having herbs in your garden means there is a constant array of fresh flavour choices right at your finger tips, the perfect ingredients to add to your wholefood cooking.

Enjoy your week in the kitchen!

Jesabe Warner

Naturopath, Affordable Wholefoods

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SWISS CHARD QUICHE (GLUTEN & DAIRY FREE)

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In Casey-Lee’s words ‘A wholesome and nutritious swiss chard filling on top of a grain free almond crust’.

Made with wholefoods, this recipe is free from gluten, grains, dairy, soy, preservatives and sugar. Enjoy!

 

Prep: 15 mins    Cooking time: 40 mins

Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:

Crust:

Method:

  1. Pre-heat fan forced oven to 180’C.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine crust ingredients and shape to form a ball of dough. Slightly flatten and place between two pieces of greaseproof paper. Use a rolling pin to roll dough out to 1/2 cm thick.
  3. Remove top layer of paper. Carefully place crust (paper side up) on top of greased or lined pie dish. Mould dough into dish. Use a fork to prick holes in base (this stops the crust from puffing up) and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside.
  4. In a deep frying pan sauté leek and garlic in olive oil for 1- 2 minutes. Add swiss chard and wilt down over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
  5. In a mixing bowl whisk eggs with lemon juice, turmeric, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon swiss chard mix on top of crust and pour over with your egg mix.
  7. Sprinkle with pine nuts and bake in oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until your egg iscooked through.

 

Recipe tips:

• *Swiss chard is a dark green leafy vegetable similar to silverbeet and has pink or yellow stems. (You can also use silverbeet for this recipe).

• The stems of chard take a little longer to cook (I use only a few) and recommend adding these in first for 1 – 2 minutes then follow with the leaves.

ALMOND NUT MILK

Making your own nut milk can be a lot of fun and is extremely nutritious, not to mention without the added preservatives that some store bought varieties put in for better shelf life. You can make nut milk out of just about any nut but there are a few varieties that are more popular owing to their flavour. It takes a little time and dedication in doing the ground work, but definitely worth it in the end.

In sharing with our readers a nut milk recipe we felt it a great opportunity to team up again with Emma Hindmarsh from @floraltable who is a natural when it comes to wholesome drinks and smoothies. Emma decided to go with almonds, being a nut many people are familiar with and also one that works well as a milk and is highly nutritious.  So here it is: Nut Milk alla Almond….

 

Almond mylk

Ingredients:
1 cup organic Almonds
2 cup filtered water
Pinch of pink salt
Pinch of vanilla (optional)

Method:

    1. Soak almonds overnight.
    2. Drain and place in your blender with filtered water. Blend in high until smooth and creamy.

Strain through your nut milk bag and store in the fridge up to 3 days.

Inspiration:

Don’t forget to keep the pulp from your almonds as they make delicious crackers! Enjoy!